How Many Animal Species Live in the Rainforest?

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The Rainforest Action Network indicates that about half of the world’s animal species live in the rain forest. Although rainforests cover only about 6 percent of the Earth’s surface, they are home to many animal species. However, some species are still unidentified, which makes it difficult to estimate the number of species living in the rain forest, but one scientist places the number between 20 million and 40 million.

More than 90 percent of the species in the rainforest are insects. Some scientists estimate that there are about 30 million species of invertebrates living in the world’s rainforests, and one survey conducted in the Amazon found 50 different species of ants living on a single tree. There are also many different species of birds and frogs living in the rainforest. Species of mammals are less common, but there are still more than 200 species of monkeys and about a dozen species of sloths living in the rainforest.

Deforestation causes animal species in the Amazon to die off at alarming rates. According to Michigan State University, it is difficult to know exactly how severely deforestation affects rain forest biodiversity, but it is possible that as many as 137 species die out every day due to the loss of their habitats.